I’ve heard many times and in many forms the idea that what one focuses on will grow stronger.  I’ve heard it as a concept passed down from yogis as well as from a multitude of authors of personal development and inspirational books. It is an idea that I try to implement in my life as well. It really is a powerful idea, and one that holds a great deal of truth.

Allow me to borrow from Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect. He mentions that when you purchase a new car, it all of a sudden seems that so many people are driving the exact same vehicle. This was something that you had not noticed before. Well, it’s unlikely that thousands of people went out today and bought the same car you did.  What really happened is that you are now focused on the type of car you drive, so you see all of these identical vehicles that have always been there but that you had never noticed before.  I know that I can relate to that, and I’m sure that many people can as well.

Another story that illustrates this comes from my own life.  I meditate on a regular basis. In the warmer weather I like to sit on my meditation cushion outside.  However, it often seems that no matter what time of the day I decide to sit outside, there is always someone getting their lawn mowed or doing some other type of noisy outdoor work. A few weeks back people were blowing leaves nearby ( I am not very fond of leaf blowers) while I was sitting on my porch.  I decided to try to really focus on my breathing and not on the noise. It turned out that when I deeply concentrated on my breathing I did not hear the leaf blowers at all. I’ll admit that this was not easy to do do and something that I need to put a lot more work into, but it is definitely something that I want to improve upon.

I believe it is important for people to focus on the things in their lives that are most important to them and for which they are grateful.

Be your own Advocate


I believe that it can sometimes be difficult to go to the doctor. This may be somewhat more true for the non-medical person.  The doctor-patient relationship should have solid and open communication at its foundation.  The doctor should speak in language that is easily understood by the patient.  The patient should ensure that he has a clear understanding of all that is being said.  I think that writing your questions down beforehand and taking them with you is a great way to be sure that nothing is forgotten.  Having another person present, be it a friend or family member is definitely a big plus. There have been several instances in which my wife was with me at a doctor’s appointment and brought up really important questions that I had either forgotten or not even thought about.

There may be situations that arise in which you have certain concerns that the doctor does not seem to share.  If this is the case, please advocate for yourself.  Please ask your doctor to explain his difference of opinion, and make sure that you are comfortable with the reasoning. Us doctors are human beings, just like our patients.  Sometimes we may overlook things or perhaps not see them quite the way our patients do.  If you have reasonable concerns, then you might need to persevere a bit in your questioning. This dialogue should, of course, occur in a polite fashion. Over the years I have had a few patients whose symptoms at the time did not seem to represent anything serious. I was going to discharge them. The patients were young adults.  It was their mothers that were proactive and adamant when they said that they knew something was wrong with their child. I listened. I proceeded to investigate further and ended up uncovering serious medical issues that would have caused significant disability for my patients had I let them go home.  I listened.  That’s the most important thing I did. My patient’s families voiced their concerns and I listened. This open communication helped my patients tremendously.

Always keep an open communication with your doctor. Ask questions. Voice your concerns. Be your own advocate when you need to.